Take 5: Causes of male infertility

1 minute read

There are many known causes of male infertility but some are more common than others


There are many known causes of male infertility, but some are more common than others.

Leading causes of male infertility include damage to the testicles (for example, from cancer treatments or drugs) and damage to the tubes at the back of the testicles from vasectomy, injury, infection or gonococcal epididymitis.

But anti-sperm antibodies are an uncommon cause of male infertility, says Professor Rob McLachlan, principle research fellow at the Hudson Institute in Melbourne, consultant andrologist at the Monash IVF Group and director of Andrology Australia.

“[Anti-sperm antibodies] can result from trauma to the testicle because it disturbs the barrier that normally exists between the immune system and the testicular sperm production,” he says.

“Sometimes antibodies are important in that they stop the sperm actually working. In other circumstances, they don’t have a functional impact.

“It really varies from individual to individual how important they are.”

In this video, Professor McLachlan discusses:

– Is past epididymitis a risk factor for male fertility?

– How common are anti-sperm antibodies after trauma to the testicle?

– Are epididymal cysts or past torsion associated with infertility?

– Do varicoceles cause male infertility and is repair recommended?

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